Nezhdanov went up to the window, and looked out into the little garden… one old, very old apple-tree for some reason riveted his attention especially.
Marianna: Let me help you, Tatyana. Only give me a napkin.
Tatyana: No need, miss, we’re used to it.
Marianna: Tatyana, please don’t call me miss… I’m dressed like a lady, but still I’m…I’m quite…
Tatyana: And what then is it you will be?
Marianna: I am certainly, if you like… I am a lady by birth; only I want to get rid of all that, and to become like all… like all simple women.
Tatyana: Ah, so that’s it! Well, now I understand. You’re one of them, I suppose, that want to be simplified. There are a good few of them about nowadays.
Marianna: What did you say, Tatyana? To be simplified?
Tatyana: Yes… that’s the word that’s come up among us now. To be on a level with simple folks, it means — simplification. To be sure, it is a good work—to teach the peasants good sense. Only it’s a difficult job!
Marianna: Simplification! Do you hear, Alyosha? you and I are simplified creatures now!
Nezhdanov: Simplified creatures!
Tatyana: And what will he be to you—your good man or your brother?
Marianna: No, he’s not my husband and not my brother.
Tatyana: Then I suppose you are living in free grace. Nowadays that too is pretty often to be met with.
Marianna: What nice things you say, Tatyana!… “In free grace”. …I like that very much. I’ll tell you what I want to ask of you, Tatyana. I want to make myself, or to buy, a dress like yours, or rather
commoner perhaps. Won’t you drink a cup of tea with us, Tatyana Osipovna?
Tatyana: At this first acquaintance I might, Marianna Vikentyevna. I’ll treat myself to a small cup.
Marianna: Do you know, Tatyana Osipovna, you think we want to teach the people; no, we want to serve them.
Tatyana: How serve them? Teach them; that’s the best service you can do them.
Marianna: I should like, Tatyana Osipovna, to learn some trade… we must have a talk about that. I sew very badly; if I were to learn to cook, I might become a cook.
Tatyana: Why be a cook? Cooks are in rich men’s houses, or merchants’; poor people do their own cooking. And to cook for a union, for workmen—well, that’s quite the last thing!
Marianna: But I might live in a rich man’s house, though, and make friends with poor people. Or how am I to get to know them? I shan’t always have such luck as with you.
Tatyana: It’s a difficult business, it can’t be settled off-hand. I’ll show you all I know, but I’m not clever at much. And there’s something I would say to you, Marianna Vikentyevna, if you’ll excuse me; but if you really want to be simplified, you’ll have to give that up. For in such callings as a cook’s, for instance, that would never pass; and everyone would see at once that you’re a young lady. Yes.
Marianna: I won’t smoke… it’s easy to get out of the way of it. Women of the people don’t smoke, so I ought not to smoke.